Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Evil Evil Evil: On hatstands and fruitcakes

13 months ago I set up transgender website puuteri.org with the idea of bringing all transgender people together in fun and accepting environment. It has been popular with around 500 users and 5.000 posts to date, 20+ online chatters every night. (for a language audience of 5 million people).

I'm considering to close it down.

For the past 13 months I can count with single hand fingers people who've thanked me for the site. Currently more people mock me on daily basis for whatever reason they can find.

Want the script of a drama featuring cheaper back-stabbing liars and retards than the novel at local Tesco's?

Hardly a surprise that all the characters are pre-transition m2f TSes, many of whom got their first bite of Zumenon last week. (I'm refering to them according to sex stated in their passport - just returning the favour of being called names for over a week now)

Shame shame as some of my loveliest friends are TSes. But then again, my friends don't have serious mental problems.

It all started with a discussion on transvestite part of the forum, topic "Transvestite ICD classification" sliding gradually to off-topic mostly by some besserwissers wanting to tell How Things Are, as usual. We knew what was on the road ahead and decided to act on it.

A newbie hatstand J started explaining the standard wisdom "You are like having a hobby, like doing yoga, a lifestyle choice. The choice of wearing a skirt is like somebody want to use a suit, some others jeans. [...] I on the other hand am a Real Woman feeling and thinking like a woman, not any (transvestite) ass-shaker from bar".

He got private warning for putting that blurp public.

Simultaneously on the same discussion fruitcake H was posting pages of data on transexual treatment. Everything started sliding off-topic, so fellow moderator Tita wrote a general reminder to everyone "Please stop posting off-topic". The fruitcake heated, threw personal insult, and went on.

He got private warning for writing that insult and disrespecting moderation.

But now he started revving. He started calling us names, "blokes in a dress", boys with inflated ego, ts-haters, asking to ban him, and writing some strange scorny forum articles. We didn't care so far and told him to calm down and relax, nobody's interested in banning him. I contacted him and tried to talk the case clear, actually believing we did reach an understanding. How wrong I was. He continued, and got the hatstand J along. Now we had two persons looking for trouble and challenging moderation.

I put the newbie for a 3 day ban, and asked the more mature H once more to get real. After hearing of the ban the fruits flew all over the place: he continued insults and started writing articles that every TS should get off the site as it's run by ts-hating blokes in a dress. Enough of that so he got a 7 day ban. The website aims to bring together TSes and TVs, so the TS/TV war he started mongering was attacking the core idea of the site.

Result was that a public anonymous transforum, regularly full of tranny-haters and bashing, started to fill of insults on the website and us administrators. Mostly insulting poor Tita who wasn't even to blame! Part of messages were signed by H himself, but most of it anonymous. Very, very low class insults.

Random hatstands started making trouble on our website. A grandma-aged nutcake J, specialized in generating hot air, was every day claiming admin of bashing ts's and general bad behaviour. He who himself blew off personal insults on a priest one of the same days for christ's sake! A true hatstand supreme M who's usually writing stuff nobody can really understand was generating bad atmosphere as well, claiming all the time that TSs are randomly banned because we hate TSes and that we are just bunch of kids stretching our muscle, but "we will all be killed my stronger force".. Explaining dutifuly in chat to everybody how things are, even he had no idea what had happened. J, a weekly visitor with sour one-liners and insults started celebrating that finally we are getting what we deserve.


Despite all this pile of shit mounting and even moderate TSes starting to jump this imaginative bandwagon to "resist the oppressors" we cut the original bans on predetermined days. Last night I caught H in chat and after some insisting got him to talk about the episode, and got an apology. So we are ok. Also J agreed episode was over. End of story? Not! The wheels H set into motion keep turning.

While talking this M was simultaneously mocking of power politics, childish abuse and demanding for a apology for him. Excuse me? He's not involved in the row in any other way than spreading lies, insulting, general bad will, and he even admitted writing many of the anonymous insults on the other website. And now he's waiting for an apology? I shrugged that off at the time, but this morning seeing that random hatstands are still continuing the mockery, my cup was filled and spilled.

My site is an attempt to find intelligent, nice transgender people in Finland who can discuss and share thoughts without scorn, need for self-promotion on others' expense or purge personal anxiety on insulting others. If none exist, the social experiment failed. End of story.

I'm most disappointed about two things: First seeing that some TSes I thought were my friends have been nodding acceptingly to this pile of shit mounting because of the claimed oppression of TSes - and they happily believed those lies. Second, that no-one of the presumed intelligent, nice persons among the wider audience are standing up to voice that this is wrongness. How can a handful of troublemakers abuse a vast majority of users, however edgy and noisy they be? That leaves me with two conclusions: either I'm wrong or alone. Both cases, I'm seriously considering giving it all up and continuing with nicer things in life.

I'm afraid I'm in desperate need of relocating to a country with citizens equipped with social skills and more positive life attitude.

It's been a while.. I know I shouldn't have kept you waiting, but I'm here now

PS: Administering the forum has consumed virtually all my t*net quota, haven't been reading anybody's blogs or writing/posting pics for ages. Wonder if the same people are still around LOL.


sophie h said...

Oh Valerie, why cant people just get along with each other instead of creating arguements.
Instead of attacking you they should appreciate youre efforts for them.

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt it's really hard to run a good tranny forum. You're going to make more enemies than friends, but the friends you make are going to be worth having, and people WILL appreciate your efforts. But I wouldn't blame you if the rewards weren't outweighed by the effort and personal attacks.

Lynn Jones said...

...with social skills and more positive life attitude
When you find it, let me know :)

If it's any help, it's not just T* forums that are like this. There are so-called 'normal' forums can be just like this.

Joanna said...

I know the feeling babes. I get it from time to time with the Angels forum too.

Basically in the end I have a banned list of topics that will be locked - the labels debate of TV vs TS is one of them. Politics and Religion are two others.

Oh and tranny rock songs cos that thread always pisses me off.

You do get the "down with the moderators" posts from time to time, but a few private warnings and a banning usually result from those.

It's a shame that people can't discuss things online without resorting to rudeness and arguments. I think the sense of anonymity that you have when typing, plus the fact that you're lacking the the non-verbal cues that happen if you're talking face to face mean there are misunderstandings sometimes. But others are just deliberately rude.

At the end of the day it's your forum. You set it up, and if they decide to join then they do it on your terms. Post some rules and make it implicit that if they sign up to the site they agree to abide by them. And if they don't like it then they can go elsewhere.

You may lose some members, and others may set up other forums, but at the end of the day it keeps things moderately calm. We still get flareups from time to time, and deliberate trolling - but again warnings and permanent bans are how I tend to deal with them ;)

Oh - and I refer them to this video too